One perfect day in Seattle's South Lake Union

Take a Northwest day trip to South Lake Union to find designer housing, star chefs, and unique, indie boutiques

Kathryn True

What it is: A who's who of city shakers--Amazon, the Gates Foundation, BioMed--and 500 new designer condos bordered by indie cafes and boutiques.

What it was: Sleepy streets flanked by old warehouses.

New nickname: Allentown, after Paul himself.

New businesses since 2004: 90

Ditch the car: The Seattle Streetcar ($2.25; transports you between downtown and South Lake Union. The vision? A whole network of routes.

Souvenir: A T-shirt with the streetcar's unofficial moniker, "Ride the S.L.U.T." (South Lake Union Trolley).

Old tradition: Free Sunday boat rides at the Center for Wooden Boats (sign-ups at 10, rides at 2; 1010 Valley St.;

New tradition: The floating farmers' market aboard the historic Virginia V steamship starts up this month (11-3 Thu; Lake Union Park;

Don't miss: A walking tour of SLU's resurrection, run by the Seattle Architecture Foundation (10 a.m. Mar 19; from $15,

From parking lot to park: Watch the seaplanes soar at Lake Union Park, an industrial site turned waterfront hub. A grassy 12-acre patch has beach access, waterside picnicking, a model-boat pond, and a 300-foot interactive fountain.

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